Lessons Learned From Playing Two Point Hospital and Watching a Pandemic

Two Point Hospital is primarily a business management game with the theme of running a hospital. Considering how I covered that game during the time a pandemic had basically taken over our day to day and our news feeds, you can bet that I actually have a bit more to say about the matter than just giving the game a review score. So what kind of insight did a quirky game about treating silly illnesses give me, let’s go over it step by step.

 

The Game World vs Today

First you’re going to quickly learn that treating patients in this game is much like a flow chart, where you have to consider what kind of facilities and staffing you need to have available depending on what kind of patients you’re getting. Maybe you need several doctors just doing diagnosis, maybe you can just have one nurse handling a ward and a pharmacy, it really depends on the situation.

What makes this rather easy to study as a single player game is that you can quickly find out what’s going on with every person or with every facility. Just by looking into a certain tab you’ll quickly find out if you’re doing well with a particular disease or if one of your staff may need a promotion or a replacement. Furthermore, every illness you deal with you’re quickly aware of what you need to handle it.

Today, many hospitals are faced with the reality that the pandemic presents. Covid-19, a very new type of coronavirus, currently has no way of effective treatment. In fact, much about it is still quite unknown as doctors on the front appear to learn new things about it every so often. And many continue to be mired in information that may not be reliable. There’s so much we don’t know to the point that detecting it proves to be a huge challenge for many countries around the world, making unfortunate collateral damage among the very medical staff who are trying to combat the deadly disease.

 

Harsh Reality

 

If this were a game, it would be easy to complain that the rules around it are pretty unfair, that the best strategy to take may seem unclear, the stakes are way too high, and that nobody would want to play it. But well, unfortunately it’s not just some game, and it appears that you and the rest of the world won’t really have a say if you’ll get to opt out. And these are the cards we’re dealt. We unfortunately don’t have that handy analytics tab that can quickly update everything easily, allowing you to assess the situation at any point. The people on top handling the situation are either going with their best guesses or whatever reasonable approach they can make.

One thing where Two Point Hospital and the current world agree is that resources are finite, and they don’t just become available because you’d wish they were. Beds, ventilators, and other relevant equipment has to be manufactured somewhere by a group of people. Somebody has to study and train for years to become a doctor. Indeed, every hospital out there has a limit of how many they can treat. You can’t just conscript a medical force and expect it to go well.

This is why the whole ‘flattening the curve’ idea is quite popular among leaders. An idea where we collectively slow down the spread of the virus by basically isolating ourselves from each other so that the virus itself has that much less chance of jumping from one human to the other. This approach however, comes at the cost of everyone’s daily lives, you are more likely to be staying at home figuring out how to kill time rather than working and ensuring you make next month’s rent. It’s like the world has collectively held its breath and we all know we shouldn’t do that for too long. Add to that having a few outliers that are actively making the situation worse, possibly extending the lockdown period within their respective areas.

 

So What’s The Play Here?

I believe that this would be one of those times that we need to drastically change our attitude on handling the matter. When a threat turns our world upside-down, isn’t it a good idea to make a response that’s about just as intense? Now’s not the time to act like you know better than the other guy or that you are somehow invincible to the disease because you read something on the internet. We have to respect the threat and acknowledge that it is very real.

As our hospitals work furiously to support those afflicted with the pandemic, we must protect the very system that makes reversing this situation possible by protecting ourselves. The fairly simple guidelines given to us by experts can greatly reduce our chances of being part of the casualties in this medical war. Reduce your risk of exposure by only going out when absolutely necessary, and keep yourself sane by finding something worthwhile to do while hunkering down at home, and maybe give yourself a break by playing something like Two Point Hospital every now and then.

Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you’re completely helpless, by keeping yourself healthy and actively protecting yourself from the threat, you are already contributing to the protection of the health system and the people around you. Do not become a victim of statistics, keeping yourself sharp and ready to respond when the quarantines are lifted to get society back on its feet is probably what we’ll need to make the recovery of our way of life possible, take charge of that role and be that guy that others can rely on when the time comes.

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